Jeffrey Nelson

Jeff Nelson
Professor of Biology

At North Park since: 1998

The North Park laboratory is where many students gain hands-on research experience, but Dr. Jeffrey Nelson also sees it as a place for students to get to know their classmates from different backgrounds through small group work as well as a chance to think about faith in relation to the wonders of biology. “Ten trillion cells shout at us each day in the anatomy lab!” he exclaims.

With the vast resources of Chicago, Dr. Nelson also sees value in stepping out of the lab too. His students might be found anywhere from Rush Medical College, where they visit the human anatomy lab, expand their biology skills, gain exposure to graduate studies as a possible future career path, to a world-class hospital, where students are regularly placed in internships.

A select group of students also works with Dr. Nelson and two of his colleagues—Dr. Drew Rholl and Dr. Matthew Schau— researching Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses in the Chicago area. They may join their professors in the woods to collect ticks and isolate organisms or tissues to probe for DNA detection efforts.

“The collaborative effort with two faculty and three peers on a public health project is quite unique in science undergraduate experiences,” he says. “Most of the student’s work is in the lab. All try to get out in the field a bit to see the front end of the work.”

Dr. Nelson is a familiar face on campus, too. He is an avid photographer who attends many North Park sporting events. He is also the faculty sponsor for TriBeta Honors Biology Club and a member of the Infectious Disease Society of America.


  • MD, University of Illinois College of Medicine
  • BS, North Park University

Recent Publications

  • J. Rydewski, N. Mateus-Pinilla, R.E. Warner, J.A. Nelson, T.C. Velat. "Ixodes scapularis (Acari: Ixodidae) Distribution Surveys in the Chicago Metropolitan Region." Journal of Medical Entomology vol 49, #4 (2012): 955-959.
  • D.A. Jobe, J.A. Nelson, M.D. Adam, S.A. Martin. "Lyme Disease in Urban Areas, Chicago." Emerging Infectious Diseases vol 13, #11 (November 2007): 1799-1800.